Petition for the Canadian House of Commons to Pass Senate amendments to Bill C-51
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The House of Commons is currently discussing Bill C-51, an act to amend the Criminal Code. Part of this legislation includes changes regarding the definition of sexual assault and consent. The current wording of this bill lacks necessary specifications about what constitutes capacity to consent, only referring explicitly to "unconsciousness" as a state preventing an individual from giving consent. By strictly putting emphasis on unconsciousness, this bill omits mentioning other key factors that may lead to incapacity to consent. Experts state that passing this bill without amending its current wording could lead to certain courts considerably limiting the factors that cause individuals to be unable to give consent. This fails to set clear guidelines for what should be considered as acceptable and unacceptable by our society.
In order to clarify the law, the Senate is proposing crucial amendments to Bill C-51. These amendments strive to replace the reference to unconsciousness with three factors providing a well-defined framework for courts to consider when determining incapacity to consent. Passing these amendments is critical in ensuring that victims of sexual assault receive fair and adequate treatment if they choose to seek justice. Senators Colin Deacon, Lillian Dyck, Frances Lankin, Marilou McPhedran, Julie Miville-Dechêne and Kim Pate need our help to make sure these amendments are voted by the House.
As young women who recently took part in McGill's Women in House Program, which allowed us to spend a day shadowing our Senators and Parliamentarians in Ottawa, this issue is very dear to us. If, like us, you wish to make your voice heard by our Prime Minister, sign this petition. By doing so, you are standing in solidarity with sexual assault victims across Canada and encouraging them to come forward with their stories.
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